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New 3DMark Slated for February 5
By Michael Low & Wong Chung Wee - on 1 Peb 2013, 11:21am

New 3DMark Slated for February 5

The new 3DMark for Windows is finally complete and slated for a launch on Monday (February 4, 2013) at 18:00 UTC. We had witnessed its beta form in Computex 2012 and had a sneak peek by the middle of last year. Now, users here can look forward to its availability early Tuesday morning at 02:00 on Tuesday (February 5, 2013). The basic edition is free and there are two paid editions;  the Advanced Edition with more options for the enthusiast, and the Professional Edition that is designed for business users.

Screenshot from the Ice Storm test <br>Image source: Futuremark

3DMark aims to be cross-platform in terms of hardware and software as it is supported on Windows, Windows RT, Android, iOS. Comprising three new tests, it enables users to benchmark their hardware ranging from smartphones and tablets, to notebooks and desktops that range from budget systems to the latest high-end, multi-GPU gaming ones. Instead of having a single unified score, the new 3DMark records the individual scores of each of its tests that are Ice Storm, Cloud Gate and Fire Strike.

Since Futuremark announced its intentions at end 2011 to develop 3DMark for Android devices, Ice Storm marks their commitment as it is a benchmark for testing mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, Ultrabooks or entry-level PCs. On Windows, Ice Storm uses a DirectX 11 engine limited to Direct3D feature level 9, ideal for testing all DirectX 9 compatible devices. On Android and iOS, Ice Storm uses OpenGL ES 2.0. Test parameters are the same on all platforms; hence, the scores can be compared across Windows, Windows RT, Android and iOS.

Cloud Gate and Fire Strike are exclusive to Windows machines initially, with the former meant for lower-end machines while the latter will put high-end gaming desktops through their paces. Both tests utilize DirectX 11 engine to test the CPUs and GPUs of their subjects.

Screenshot of the new performance graphs that accompany each test score <br> Image source: Futuremark

Another improvement added by the new 3DMark is the manner in presents the scores of its tests; For supported components, it is able to record FPS, GPU and CPU temperatures as well as CPU power and clock speed during the benchmark run. The results are display in graphs that are interactive. Users can zoom in, change the scale and pan the chart to focus on a specific part of the benchmark run. The graphs also support mouse-over tooltips for quick information access.

Futuremark plans to launch 3DMark for Windows RT, Android and iOS by the first quarter of this year 2013. For more information, do head over to the 3DMark site.

Source: Futuremark